Almost everyone is equipped with a natural aptitude for something. Whether it is perfect pitch or innate athletic ability, it is natural that there are certain aspects where we perform better than our peers, with little or no effort at all. These talents, come instinctively to a person and probably manifests itself from a young age.

However as we enter into our formative years, the question arises as to which of these talents, can propel you to a successful career? It is often a question of degree. Not all of us are blessed with prodigious talents, but with the right nurturing and exposure, your God-given talents, too, can be converted into marketable skills.

This is where we enter into the murky world of talents and skills. Highly prone to be mistaken for the other – talents and skills are in fact, different. That is not to say that they are mutually exclusive. Most of your talents and skills could be vague, shadowy shapes that you have yet to recognise. But both are different, and the difference matters.

Talents are natural aptitudes that one already has, in-built into every individual. Skills, on the other hand, are more purposeful abilities, specifically applicable to carrying out tasks. These skills can only be learned, or even nurtured from talents, but they have a clear objective – to achieve predetermined results within a given amount of time and energy. In a nutshell, what are skills, are talents; but what are talents, are not necessarily skills.

Talents aren’t necessarily appropriated for anything marketable, but skills on the other hand, are practical and potentially the foundation for success. Until you identify the talents you possess and hone them into skills, your talents will lay dormant and remain as mere talents that people admire but little else.

The ‘toolbox’

Your ‘toolbox’ describes the overall package of both the talents and skills you are equipped with. Undoubtedly, both are paramount and are necessarily alongside each other to our future endeavours. Skills may create success, but talent certainly accelerates the road to success.

To put it simply, compare a professional soccer player to a recreational player at your local park. A bicycle kick is no doubt impressive, even when executed by an amateur player. However, you can observe the obvious disparity in technique and execution by Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo when he does that same trick, albeit with more speed and better technique.

Ronaldo is gifted with the physical traits that place him in that ideal footballer archetype; lean and muscular, with immaculate thighs that propel his legs forward for a powerful shot, and great balance. At the age of 8, he was already playing professionally for amateur teams, a true testament for his innate skills and bodily vessel that he was blessed with. It is undeniable that the learning curve was less of an obstacle for him than many other aspiring soccer players.

Many people recognise this distinction between talents and skills, but many others do not readily take the optimal steps to harness the potential of their talents and skills in a truly impactful manner.

Many would make the mistake of pigeon-holing Ronaldo’s spectacular agility on the football pitch as downright talent. However, the notion that one can only become successful on talent alone is thoroughly flawed. It is this notion that leads one to blame their talents, or lack thereof, when we fail to achieve our desired level of success.

Hardwork truly makes the difference

Ronaldo is a perfect example on how some individuals can have a proverbial head-start in life. And while others could spend a lifetime trying to mimic his rampant success, they will emerge sorely disappointed.

However, there is undoubtedly an element to nurturing those innate talents that you possess into usable and marketable skills. It is always a shame when we encounter people who fail to realise their full potential, and are set upon an entirely unsuitable career path.

But when pinpointing the extent of our talents for success, we must first recognise the following distinctions:

  1. Innate talents that can be developed quickly into skills, but have yet to be realised;
  2. Skills that are developed purely from hard work and;
  3. Talents that are appropriated as skills for success.

An individual who quickly reins in all his talents early on, while creating skills out of these talents, has the potential to become an incredibly successful professional. In any career path, it is necessary that we must work at developing the requisite skills for the job at hand. Anything less would simply yield a lower degree of success or no success at all.

Jobs, Skills and Passion

Certainly, there are careers that are less obvious in terms of skill categorisations but the faster you recognise both your talents and the practical skills required for the job in question, the faster you can work to fill in the gaps.

That being said, to successfully hone your talents into skills, the most important thing to consider is whether it coincides with your passion. Passion is when “you put more energy into something than is required to do it…Passion is ambition that is materialised into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible.”

We often hear stories about how authors of bestselling books were avid readers in their childhood, and how they delight in seeing words crackle on the page everyday. It was definitely passion that compelled these individuals to work at their ‘craft’. To find your talents and skills, you need only look at your passion that drives your desires.

This article was written by Jeremy Cai, a writer at the local cashback shopping site ShopBack Malaysia.


    2 replies to "Converting Your Talents Into Marketable Skills"

    • Sundararajan iyer

      I am looking for some advice where the intelligence to put many things into practice and make changes in everybody’s life without loosing honesty and integrity, networking is good, projects are fantastic, something is missing, can you identify what!

      • KCLau

        I am having difficulty to understand your question. Can you put it clearly?

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